Brompton Bicycle has said it sold five times as many bikes online since launching its Direct to Home initiative at the start of April, a week after the UK entered lockdown.
Many of the bike shops the West London-based company would usually trade through are either closed completely or restricting their activities to servicing and repairs.
The shift online has therefore helped Brompton satisfy demand for its folding bikes, much of it from people looking to switch to cycling for their commutes and avoid public transport.
A spokesperson for the company told Telegraph.co.uk: “Online sales from both our accredited retailers and via Brompton have grown rapidly (five times higher than the previous month) since the launch of our Direct To Home service at the start of April.”
They added that organic web traffic for the UK had also risen by 62 per cent during the past five weeks as people browse its bikes online.
To cater for the surge in online interest, the company has now introduced a video call service, named Brompton Live In-Store Expert, which puts customers in touch with staff from the Brompton Junction store opened last year at London’s Westfield White City.
The service, available from 10am-4pm Monday to Friday, enables customers to seek advice on Brompton’s range of bikes as well as accessories and clothing.
Stephen Loftus, Brompton’s chief commercial officer, said: “We have always been committed to deliver the highest level of customer service we can, and I am delighted we are able to now offer our customers an engaging way to access the expertise of our retail staff so that they can have confidence in finding their perfect Brompton and have it delivered to one our accredited retail stores or straight to their door.
“This new service is an example of how we are adapting and developing our business to meet the changing consumer needs due to the impact of COVID-19,” he added.
In March, the company’s Brompton Bike Hire arm started letting NHS key workers hire its bikes for free to enable them to get to work while avoiding public transport.
Brompton also turned over part of the production facilities at its Greenford factory to support the Wheels For Heroes initiative enabling more bikes to be made available to NHS staff, and launched a crowdfunding campaign so the public could also back it, with more than £300,000 raised to date.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.